World War II: the defining moment of the 20th century. More than 16 million soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen served in the war, and more than 400,000 lost their lives. They have become known as the Greatest Generation for their service and their sacrifice. In 2004, a national memorial was dedicated on the mall in Washington D.C. in their honor.
The Triangle Flight of Honor is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that is flying WWII veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the memorial. While the organization serves veterans of all wars, special priority is being given to WWII veterans, because they are dying at a rate of 1,200 a day nationwide. Flights, ground transportation and personal assistance are offered free of charge to veterans who might not otherwise have the opportunity to see the memorial in their lifetime.
WRAL News viewers raised $50,481 dollars to help fund the first flight on Oct. 7, 2010.
“Stories of Honor” is a half-hour documentary profiling three veterans who made the flight. They are:
Derwood Copeland, a B-17 pilot who was shot down over France and spent nearly two years in a German POW camp. Hugh Shearin, a soldier who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and whose unit suffered many casualties. D.C. Lawson, a Marine who was wounded and nearly died in the battle of Okinawa.
WRAL News Anchor Kelcey Carlson
Producer/Writer Clay Johnson
Photographer/Editor Jay Jennings